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Zurich to luaterbrunnen

Hello. My wife and from the states are flying into Zurich for the first time and are very excited to go to the lauterbrunnen area (thinking of gimmewald or other places). Is it easy to take the train straight there or do have to transfer in bern? We are just trying to figure out how to get around by train in that area. Thanks,!!!!

Posted by
16778 posts

Train changes are easy, and ya gotta get used them because it is almost never a straight shot to get where you want to go. Once you've done one or two, you'll never give it a second thought. And in Switzerland, there is at least one train every hour in each direction, so if you screw up and miss a connection its no big deal. There will always be another train coming along to get you where you want to go.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you. Since we get to Zurich at 9am would you suggest we take it easy and stay somewhere on the way or go straight there? Not sure how long it takes or once we get there we need to find a place unless we reserve earlier. Appreciate any advice since it's our first time there and we hear it's beautiful. We are from Chicago too. Thx again

Posted by
7190 posts

Hope you are flying Swiss Air from O'hare direct to Zurich that is a good flight. The first ever where I had real silver ware in coach.
I would just go straight; the airport rail goes straight there or go to Luzern like I did straight from the airport. It takes about an hour. You will see Zurich from the train station passing; it looks good from the train;

Posted by
7205 posts

It's about 2 hours 45 minutes from Zurich Airport to Lauterbrunnen. You'll have to make a least 2 changes...in Bern and then again in Interlaken Ost.

You can find your routes and times at www.sbb.ch/en

I would not choose to stay in Gimmelwald - it's beautiful scenery but not much of anything to do there. Better for you to go just above Gimmelwald to Murren. From Lauterbrunnen to Murren is another 20 minutes spent on a gondola up the and then change to a little train that dead ends in Murren. There you'll have the beautiful scenery as well as grocery store, ATM, restaurants, several hotels, etc.

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you all very much...last two questions..I promise. 1. Any hotel recommendations in that area? 2. We are thinking about going to the Eiger as well...not knowing where everything is at ..how long does it take to get there as well?....Thanks again.

Posted by
6633 posts

tom, when are you going? Do you have time to read a guidebook or watch some videos before you go? It would help guide your questions. The Eiger, for example, is one of a trio of mountain peaks that are visible from all over the Lauterbrunnen Valley, and not specifically a destination in itself. You need to know about train fares and discount passes for the area as well.

Posted by
7 posts

We are going from 9-12 to 9-21...and yes I just got the Rick Steve's guide so I am beginning to research..my question on the Eiger was more of the lines can we actually stay there or is it close enough to Murren or Gimmewald to make it a day trip...but yes I have research to do ...so maybe I will wait a bit to ask more questions....thanks.

Posted by
16778 posts

If by the Eiger, you mean the Jungfraujoch, yes, it an easy if expensive day trip up to the top. The train uses a spiral tunnel through the inside of the Eiger, with stops where you can look out "windows" cut into the side of the mountain. If you just want to see a great closeup view of the Eiger, just take the train up as far as Kleine Scheidegg.

Posted by
191 posts

My friends & I will be headed to Zurich on 9/29 & arriving at 8:30 am. We plan on getting 4 day Swiss Travel passes right at the airport & heading out to Murren (which is where I stay when in the Berner Oberland) via Bern (transfer), Interlaken Ost & Lauterbrunnen. The cable car up from Lauterbrunnen is right across the street from the train station & this connects with the small train to Murren. In Murren, I stay at the Hotel Alpina (for the spectacular balconies) & it is a short walk from the Murren train station. Everyone has their preferences concerning hotels in Murren but almost all get great reviews. When boarding the local train in Interlaken Ost, be sure to get into a carriage marked "Lauterbrunnen" & not one labeled "Grindelwald" which is the town below the face of the Eiger. Halfway to Lauterbrunnen, the train splits & only the Lauterbrunnen carriages go to Lauterbrunnen. One other suggestion is take the cable car to the top of the Schilthorn if it is a nice day. My personal vote for best view of the mountains. Easy to get to from either Murren or Lauterbrunnen depending on where you decide to stay.

Posted by
631 posts

back to the original question about getting away from the airport. The are basically two simple options which avoid changing trains in Zurich (which is a huge and busy station).

Via Bern. Direct trains leave the airport at xx:40 most hours, these have connections to Interlaken Ost which are usually side by side in Bern. Onward connections into the mountains are at Interlaken Ost which is the second station in Interlaken and end of the line for that train.

Via Luzern. Direct trains leave the airport at xx:47 most hours. At Luzern you change to a narrow gauge train which runs via the Brünig Pass and Meiringen and enters Interlaken from the opposite direction and only calls at Ost. This route is slower but very scenic.

The airport station is simple but busy. Trains to many destinations run through at frequent intervals, if you reach the platform 15 minutes early yours may be the 2nd or 3rd train.

Posted by
219 posts

From the trip dates you gave, it sounds like you have enough time to take it easy on your journey to the Jungfrau Mountain region (with the Eiger Mountain and Gimmelwald and Mürren, Lauterbrunnen Valley, etc.). So I recommend you take the more scenic, slightly longer route there, via Luzern, breaking it up with an overnight stay in charming Luzern/Lucerne, rather than taking the more industrial but slightly shorter route via Bern. The whole route to your destination from Luzern is full of spectacular mountain lakes and quaint villages.

As Steve mentioned, take the direct hourly train at 47 minutes after the hour from the Zurich airport train station, all the way to Luzern (1 hour and 2 minutes trip). Stay in a hotel in Luzern to catch up on your sleep, and to stretch your legs after the long plane trip. You can walk around the old town with its medieval buildings, cobblestone walking streets, elaborate public fountains and the famous flowered-wooden-walking bridge (Kapellebrücke). Eat out at a riverside restaurant near the bridge.

Then the next day you can take the "Golden Pass" train route from Luzern past mountain-framed blue-green Lake Lungern, past the cliffs and waterfalls of Meiringen, past the bright blue-green Lake Brienz, to Lauterbrunnen (changing trains in Interlaken Ost). From Lauterbrunnen you can take the cable car up to Grütschalp, where a little train awaits to take you along the ridge line to Mürren. (Mürren connects by cable car to Gimmelwald.) They are both above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, which is where your beautiful alpine mountain excursions, including the Eiger and Jungfrau mountains, begin.

Posted by
2580 posts

Remember, there are 2 ways to get from Lauterbrunnen to Murren. One by funicular, one by cable car. Make sure you know which one you want to take so you don't get tripped up at the Lauterbrunnen station.

Posted by
219 posts

Phred, you're right about there being two ways to get from Lauterbrunnen to Mürren. I only had mentioned the route I thought simplest for a newcomer, in my earlier post.
In 2006, the funicular was replaced by a cable car. So you now get to Mürren by either:
1. Cable car from Lauterbrunnen to Grütschalp; connect to the little train up there to bring you along the ridge to Mürren, or
2. Bus from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg cable car station, then take cable car from Stechelberg up to Gimmelwald station and connect there to another cable car up to Mürren.

Posted by
2 posts

We are headed to Switzerland from Dubai in October, heading to Mürren immediately, just above Lauterbrunnen.
When I used the SBB.ch website for the train routing from the airport, it took me thru Bern and Interlaken, but I wanted to find a route using the GoldenPass train as far as Luzern.

So, instead of the recommended train connections via Bern, I found the route that takes me from airport to Luzern main station, then board the GoldenPass train to Interlaken Ost, where I transfer to the local train heading to Lauterbrunnen.

With my early morning arrival from Dubai, I have several train choices to Luzern from the airport (IR 2250, 2633, or 2637), then two possible GoldenPass choices (IR 2918 or 2920) as far as Interlaken Ost.

From Interlaken, then I have several connections to Lauterbrunnen and finally to Mürren.

Yes, that's only half the GoldenPass train. We'll do the other leg later in the week. Hurried trip to Montreux, tour Chateau de Chillon, then late afternoon GoldenPass back to Bern via Zweisimmen and Spiez.

Once you get the hang of the sbb.ch website, it is easy to search for connections. Especially easy if you have the Swiss Pass, and aren't worried about purchasing tickets for specific days and times.